Wednesday, June 06, 2012

VW Passat Test Drive. Part two.



The new Passat is a fine and upscale looking car.
But it is also blander than the previous generation. (The one still sold in Europe)
This new US Passat's mission is to take on the Camry, and it shows.

The interior is also not as nice as the previous one.
The top of the dash seems very similar, but the rest looks and feels cheaper.
It's not bad, bit;s just not as good as before.
There is a big trim bit all over the dash, covered in silver metal/plastic trim in my SE model. Or fake looking wood in the higher end trim.
Whether it looks like metal or wood, there is just too much of it. It covers the console too.

The doors certainly don't feel cheap when you close them, but it is nothing like the previous Passat either. Which felt like a bank safe.

On the other end, there is a huge amount of room. Especially in the back.
Where it almost feels like a full size sedan.
Which makes for a great family car.

For some reason, i really like the interior door design. So there. I took a picture of it...

The drive is also just fine. Nothing special.
the steering feels like any other new VW, from the Beetle to the Jetta.
Light but precise. And also not as fun as VWs from a few years ago.

The car rides very smoothly, but it almost feels too soft up front.

The stereo sounds really good, although you cannot control your iPod/iPhone from it. Only volume. There is no USB plug.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's with the 70's style floor hump on a car which I thought was fwd?

DaHarder said...

Wow... a 2010 Chevy Malibu with a mush cheaper looking interior - How Innovative!

Matt said...

There should be an "MDI" (Multi-Device Interface) plug in the glove box or center console to connect an iPod.

Matt said...

There should be an "MDI" (Multi-Device Connector) in the glove box or center console to connect an iPod.

Anonymous said...

NO USB? I crappy little 2010 Hyundai Accent I had as a rental even had one. There's no excuse for this in 2012.

- FusioptimaSX

Anonymous said...

NO USB? I crappy little 2010 Hyundai Accent I had as a rental even had one. There's no excuse for this in 2012.

- FusioptimaSX

Anonymous said...

Vince, can you please comment on the off-center steering wheel and if it bothers you while driving? They just lengthened the dash structure from the Jetta to widen the mounting points. So all the spacing is from the Jetta and doesn't line up. LAME

Vince Burlapp said...

"There should be an "MDI" (Multi-Device Interface) plug in the glove box or center console to connect an iPod."

I know, that's what it says in the manual. And online as well.
And it was in the glove box of the Beetle I drove a few weeks ago.
There is nothing here.

And the steering wheel "controls" don't really control anything, in either Stereo BT or AUX mode. Just volume.

Anonymous said...

Vince I currently own a 2012 Passat SE and it does not have a USB port BUT you can connect the Ipod/Iphone to the stereo through the Bluetooth connection and control the Ipod/Iphone both with the stereo or the steering wheel controls!! I think you must configure it somehow (the dealer guy did it for me), but I can control all of my Iphone music through the car!

Anonymous said...

Vince - Thanks for fixing the typos/misspellings! There's still another one...

It's not bad, bit;s just not as good as before.

Long Island Matt said...

Vince, which engine/transmission combo did you test?

Anonymous said...

I can't understand why anyone would actually buy a Passat. It is in the same price range as cars like the Accord, Camry and Fusion which are a lot more reliable and less expensive to maintain. I am not sure how customer service is now at VW, but it used to suck four years ago when I had a Passat. I would rather walk than ever drive another VW.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Vince for the new non Nissan test drives. I really appreciate them.

Keep up the good work!
I visit you blog every day!

Now about this Passat.
I don't trust VW also because of reliability.
Specially electronics.
But this car is perhaps for the ones who want something different from the pack.
And the big space at the back will win some hearts.

Anonymous said...

Spacious, yes. Plain, yes. Plasticky interior, yes. Looks like a competitor snuck into the design department and convinced VW to make a boring, plain car, yes.